Defining Scholarship in Physician Assistant Education
The goal of educational scholarship is to establish evidence that identifies excellence in teaching, curriculum design, student assessment, mentoring, advising, leadership, and administration. Our challenge as faculty is to determine what best defines this within our profession. Responsibilities of physician assistant (PA) educators include not only increasing evidence supporting quality in PA education but also outlining strategies that lead us to this success. As innovative scholars, we should focus on expanding the definition of educational scholarship by reevaluating criteria that define it. We then can explore new opportunities for faculty to develop a portfolio that endorses their academic advancement. The outcomes of this scholarship can be used to further advance PA education and clinical practice. Educational scholarship should satisfy the following: address a need, expand existing research, and be provocative, measurable, and reproducible. As innovative scholars, we should also consider analyzing existing evidence and determine whether what has been defined as best practices in the general areas of health care education are also effective in PA education. The outcomes of this research can be used to establish best practices within PA education. Cultivating a collaborative environment among programs will enable our profession to gather robust evidence supporting a quality education.